Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BDBV), and Reston ebolavirus (RESTV) belong to the same genus but exhibit different virulence properties. VP24 protein, a structural protein present in all family members, blocks interferon (IFN) signaling and likely contributes to virulence. Inhibition of IFN signaling by EBOV VP24 (eVP24) involves its interaction with the NPI-1 subfamily of karyopherin alpha (KPNA) nuclear transporters. Here, we evaluated eVP24, BDBV VP24 (bVP24), and RESTV VP24 (rVP24) interactions with three NPI-1 subfamily KPNAs (KPNA1, KPNA5, and KPNA6). Using purified proteins, we demonstrated that each VP24 binds to each of the three NPI-1 KPNAs. bVP24, however, exhibited approximately 10-foldlower KPNA binding affinity than either eVP24 or rVP24. Cell-based assays also indicate that bVP24 exhibits decreased KPNA interaction, decreased suppression of IFN induced gene expression, and a decreased half-life in transfected cells compared to eVP24 or rVP24. Amino acid sequence alignments between bVP24 and eVP24 also identified residues within and surrounding the previously defined eVP24-KPNA5 binding interface that decrease eVP24-KPNA affinity or bVP24-KPNA affinity. VP24 mutations that lead to reduced KPNA binding affinity also decrease IFN inhibition and shorten VP24 half-lives. These data identify novel functional differences in VP24- KPNA interaction and reveal a novel impact of the VP24-KPNA interaction on VP24 stability.
- Ebola virus
- Protein stability